The Brisbane Lions have officially stamped themselves as a premiership threat on the competition after an emphatic 95-point victory over the GIANTS at Burpengary on Saturday.
The Lions, boasting 20 AFL-listed players, dictated the play of the game right from the opening bounce of the game to win 18.22 (130) to 5.5 (35).
The Lions were able to get away to a big 30-point quarter time lead off the back of windy conditions and good ball leading to 19 inside 50s, With Ryan Lester was working hard off the half backline racking up nine disposals.
The GIANTS were struggling to move the ball out of stoppages against an early breeze which made finding open forward targets difficult. Dawson Simpson was having a massive impact through the ruck battle dishing out 12 hit outs at the quarter time break and finishing with 30 for the match.
Going into the second quarter, the GIANTS started off on the right note with a quick goal to Kieran Briggs, and the game moved into a much closer contest. After the second of the GIANTS’ goals for the quarter by Dylan Buckley it turned into more of the Lions dominance seen in the first.
The Lions midfield were all providing an impact, with an even spread of contributors across the ground moving the ball quickly and intelligently through the corridor and deep into their forward line – resulting in Ben Keays kicking a massive six goals in the first half.
Lions NEAFL coach Mitch Hahn found the even spread of performance across the park was the most pleasing aspect of the win.
“Our contribution of goal kickers was really pleasing not just from our midfielders, our defensive group and our back seven were very good and very even and our forwards contributed in that area I think it was a good even contribution from our 22 players which very pleasing,” he told neafl.com.au.
The GIANTS were working overtime and actually had an advantage around the clearance numbers but were finding it hard to hit targets leading up from their forward line.
Some of the GIANTS draftees were doing an important job trying to stay in the contest, with Jackson Hately having 14 disposals and five clearances and Xavier O’Halloran having nine disposals at the half, eventually finishing with 27 and 15 respectively.
GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schnieder said the scores from turnover are what hurt his side.
“Our midfielders were pretty solid inside, the Brisbane midfielders worked a bit harder than us and every time we got it in forward we couldn’t quite hold it and … they scored on us way to easily so that was disappointing,” he told neafl.com.au.
“If you look at the scores from turnovers I think it was they kicked 15 goals from our turnovers or something like that, so once you turn the ball over and concede 15, 16 goals from it you are going to struggle to win it.”
Coming out of the half, the Lions continued from where they left off in the first half booting away two quick goals. The quarter was dominated by the Lions but weren’t able to increase their lead as much as they should have, with very gettable goals directly in-front being missed. Ryan Bastinac was running rampant through the midfield during the third quarter putting his hand up for a return to an in-form AFL side.
With the result of the game all but sewn up, the GIANTS had the last quarter to play for pride while the Lions were looking to push through to the final siren.
In the last term, the ball was able to find its way its way to a pair of marking hands in the forward 50 for the GIANTS leading to Zach Sproule kicking two last quarter goals. The GIANTS still had no answers for the Lions’ roar, however, with Brisbane also taking out the final quarter.
The Lions will be looking to continue on with their dominant form against fellow Queensland side Aspley at home next week on Good Friday.
Hahn was particularly wanting to focus on contested possessions, while the GIANTS will focus on looking after the ball and entry inside 50, to get their season back on track against the Gold Coast SUNS.
NEAFL ROUND 2
Brisbane Lions v GIANTS at Moreton Bay Sports Complex
BRISBANE 5.3 12.8 15.17 18.22 (130)
GIANTS 0.3 2.4 3.4 5.5 (35)
Brisbane: B Keays 6 C McFadyen 2 C Cox 2 K Coleman T Fullarton T Berry E Hunt C Lyons E Smith T Cutler J Allison.
GIANTS: Z Sproule 2 J Buckley D Buckley K Briggs.
Brisbane: B Keays C Lyons R Lester K Coleman M Hinge A Smith.
GIANTS: J Hately L Keeffe J Buckley C Idun A Corr J Stein.